Marriage is Hard

By Emily Brummund  Feb 3, 2016

For all of you married couples out there, my next statement will not come as a surprise to you.  Marriage is hard.  We all know it, but we just don’t usually say it out loud.  My husband and I dated for over seven years (yes, seven), before we got married. I thought I had this whole thing figured out. After a wonderful wedding and an even better honeymoon, Brian and I settled into married life. We moved into our little apartment and all was blissful, right? Hmmm, not so fast, my friend. Yes, my marriage is wonderful. Yes, I am so thankful every day that I married a godly, responsible, and driven man.  Yes, I am thankful for the way he loves to protect and spoil me. But, getting to the bliss part took time and a lot of hard work.

Think about it.  Many married couples are opposites. And, while opposites do attract, they can also drive each other nuts after a while.  Brian and I are complete opposites.  If you were to look at our StrengthsFinder talents, you will see most of my signature strengths are non-patterns for him, and vice versa.  For instance, I am very high Positivity and Woo…basically a cheerleader.  Brian is number 34 (yes, the lowest you can get!) Positivity.  People who know us well would attest to this difference specifically.

When coached in my strengths, I was blessed to grow in self-awareness.  I started to understand who God had uniquely created me to be. I also started to see Brian’s strengths. In addition to self-awareness, when being coached you also tend to grow in other-awareness. Almost right away, I asked Brian to take the same assessment.  What we found was very helpful to our marriage relationship in the ways that we naturally act and communicate.

The biggest “AHA” moment for us came when we looked at how my Activator talent struggled with Brian’s Deliberative talent, and how his Deliberative struggled with my Activator.  My #1 Activator talent is very impatient for action.  I usually think WHILE I am acting.  This was very much in contrast to Brian’s Deliberative way of acting…he instinctively sees all of the risks involved in any action, plans against them, and then moves forward.  See the conflict? Before learning about how the other was talented, Brian saw my impatience for action as moving forward irresponsibly.  I saw his inaction as paralysis by analysis.

Armed with our new self-awareness, we can actually use our differences to our collective advantage.  I know Brian needs time to process decisions.  If I see a big decision coming down the path, I start providing information and discussing it early, then wait…understanding that he is going to need more time than I do to feel comfortable moving forward.  He, in turn, may slow me down a bit, but he also can help me see the obstacles before I hit them. He saves me time in the long run.  He slows me down (in a good way!) and I hurry him along (in a good way!).

This example is just one of many that I could share. Being coached in my strengths opened my eyes not only to how I was wired, but how Brian was wired as well.  Now, as a coach, coaching couples in their strengths is one of my favorite responsibilities.  It opens them up to a whole new level of understanding…and hopefully a bit more bliss.

Do you desire to understand your spouse or significant other in a whole new way?  We would love to work with you.  Who knows…it could change your marriage!

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